LED Financial News: Cree, EcoSense, Nanoco

Cree’s net profit has unsurprisingly dropped following the Ruud acquisition, EcoSense has received series-B funding, and Nanoco is pushing forward with quantum-dot development.

Cree sees profit fall following Ruud deal

Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq:CREE) achieved $269.0 million in revenue for its first quarter of fiscal 2012, ended September 25, 2011. This represents a 0.2% increase compared to the same period last year, and an 11% increase sequentially.

GAAP net income was $12.8 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, a drop of 78% compared to the same period last year. The drop in profit reflects the acquisition of Ruud Lighting on August 17, 2011, approximately one month before the end of the quarter.

The revenue growth in Q1 was driven by approximately $20 million in net sales from Ruud Lighting in the second half of the fiscal quarter, “strong growth” in sales of Cree's indoor LED lighting products to commercial and retail customers, and “solid growth” in XLamp LED component sales across a range of lighting applications, which offset lower LED chip and Power sales, said Cree.

Beginning this quarter, Cree is presenting its revenue in 3 categories:

  • LED products revenue was $196.8 million, which includes LED components, LED chips and materials;
  • Lighting products revenue was $51.7 million, which includes revenue for indoor lighting products and Ruud Lighting;
  • Power and RF products revenue (not LED-related) was $20.5 million.
“We got off to a good start in Q1 as results were in-line with our updated targets and our LED lighting and LED components product lines continued to grow,” stated Chuck Swoboda, Cree chairman and CEO. “Although we have seen tremendous growth in LED lighting sales over the last few years, it is clear that we have only scratched the surface of LED lighting adoption and there is growing demand for products that offer innovative solutions and good payback.”

EcoSense closes funding round

LED lighting manufacturer EcoSense Lighting has closed a $13 million Series B financing round led by Bain Capital Ventures (see press release).

The New York-based company says that the latest round of financing will support its continued product-development initiatives and fuel the growth of its engineering and sales teams to satisfy market demand for the technology.

“With its exponential energy and cost savings, breadth of applications and earth‐friendly, sustainable components, we see incredible potential in the LED illumination market,” says Jeffrey Glass, Managing Director of Bain Capital Ventures. “EcoSense has the right team, the right strategy and a level of traction in the professional lighting market needed to be a strong leader in this advancing industry.”

Nanoco making progress with quantum dots

Nanoco Group plc (AIM: NANO), a Manchester, UK-based manufacturer of quantum dots, reported revenue of GBP2.64 million for the year to 31 July 2011, compared with GBP2.94 million. The loss before tax was GBP3.22 million (2010: loss of GBP1.37 million), primarily reflecting the costs associated with setting up the company’s Runcorn manufacturing facilities.

Nanoco’s principal product is cadmium-free quantum dot (CFQD) material. In April 2011, Nanoco announced the production of a 1-kg batch of red CFQD for a “major Japanese corporation.” This triggered a $2 million milestone payment. According to Nanoco, a kilogram of quantum dots will make of the order of 50,000 backlight units for LCD TVs, depending on the TV size. Green CFQDs are also required as part of the program.

In August 2011, Nanoco signed a joint development agreement with “one of the world's largest lighting companies,” also described as “a large Western company.” The objective is to incorporate CFQD into the lighting company's LEDs to create LED lighting systems with the performance characteristics required for widespread residential and commercial use.

Nanoco also said that it recently expanded its patent portfolio by acquiring patents from Evident Technologies Inc., a US nanotechnology company. The patents, which largely relate to the surface chemistry of quantum dots and their use in applications, extend the reach of our cadmium-free technology.

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